US actress Jennifer Tilly has joined Chinese actress Hao Lei (Summer Palace) and Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok in the cast of period drama Silver Valley, which is currently shooting in China's Shanxi province.

Directed by California-basedfilmmaker Christina Yao, the $10m film is co-produced by Taiwanese producerPeggy Chiao's Arc Light Films, Hong Kong-based Crystal Clear Pictures -co-founded by Chiao and Yao - anda yet-to-be-announced mainland Chinese company.The cast also includes Taiwanese actor Chin Shih-jie and Chinese actorZhang Tielin.

Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures is likely to pick up Hong Kong rights and sales for Asian territories, according to Chiao.

Shooting started in Shanxi province in September and will move to Dunhuang, Inner Mongolia, Beijingand Tianjin city. Chung-man Yee (Curse Of The Golden Flower) is working as art director and AnthonyPun (Rob-B-Hood) as DoP on the film.Shooting is scheduled to finish in January 2007.

The story, about bankingmerchants and the once prosperous trading business in Shanxi province during the 19th century, is written byfirst-time director Yao, who is a theatre professor based in California.

Chiao's Arc Light Filmrecently produced Kenneth Bi's TheDrummer with Germany's Twenty Twenty Vision. The Match Factory and Emperor Motion Pictures arehandling international sales on the film which has just wrapped.